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Credit Union History  

The first credit unions were founded in Germany in the 1840s to provide savings and borrowing opportunities to working-class people. The guiding principles were simple:

  • Only people who were credit union members could borrow there.
  • Loans should be for prudent and productive purposes.
  • A person's desire to repay (character) would be considered as important as a person's ability to repay (income).

These principles still govern most of the credit unions in the world today.

In Georgia, the credit union movement started when Edward A. Filene, a Boston merchant, visited Atlanta in 1922 and persuasively explained the need for credit unions. Later that year, Atlanta attorney E. Marvin Underwood drafted a state credit union bill, which was introduced in the Georgia General Assembly that year and each following year until it was passed in 1925.